Sunday, January 29, 2006

Kufiyaspotting #8: 'Arabistan/Khuzistan

....Or Does It Explode? alerts us to conditions in the southern Iranian province of Khuzestan (often referred to in the Arab world as 'Arabistan), where the Iranian regime has been cracking down on overt expressions of Arab ethnicity, including the wearing of the red kufiya. According to a report published by the Underrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, "In November's Eid-al-Fitr demonstrations in Ahwaz, Governor General Heyat Mojadam ordered all those wearing keffiyeh be arrested. An Ahwazi Arab youth freed from prison following his arrest during the Eid-al-Fitr protests spoke of how the prosecutor, Mr Farhadi-Rad, argued that the wearing of the red keffiyeh was a 'political statement' that indicated support for secessionism." Another report states that the state has banned the wearing of the kufiya at work. This includes the state oil company, NOIC, the largest employer in the province.

This occurs in the background of the recent upsurge of protests by Arabs in Khuzestan over the past several months.

No comments: